This position is for a post-doctoral scientist in terrestrial ecology within an NSF-funded project studying the ecological legacy effects of elephant carcasses in African savanna ecosystems. The Postdoctoral Researcher would work closely with Drs. Deron Burkepile and Josh Schimel at UC Santa Barbara, as well as collaborators at Utah State University, Marquette University, the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON), and South African National Parks (SANParks). Field work will be conducted in Kruger National Park in South Africa. This position will focus on the effects across space (landscape scale) and time (decadal scale) of elephant carcasses on ecosystem processes that influence communities of plants and large mammals. Fieldwork will offer an exciting and unparalleled opportunity to work in pristine savanna ecosystems across gradients of rainfall and soil nutrients. It will also require a special combination of personal attributes including self-reliance under the challenging conditions presented by the study system. We seek a candidate with a background in community or ecosystem ecology with significant field experience and excellent quantitative skills. The project has components relating to soil nutrient dynamics, primary production, plant community dynamics, and herbivory (by both large vertebrates and small invertebrates). So, the post-doctoral scholar would have significant latitude to explore research interests linking these different topics. The post-doctoral scholar will be required to advance the broader impacts of the research by working with a videography team, local students at South African institutions, and undergraduate interns to a) facilitate the production of a documentary video for an international audience and b) collaboratively produce several educational pieces for K-12 and college audiences (e.g., lectures and educational videos).
* Valid Passport
* Ability and willingness to travel to work with collaborators at their home institutions within the US as well as travel internationally for field work in South Africa
* The position will be located on the UCSB campus and field research will occur in Kruger National Park in South Africa
Salary and Benefits: Full benefits package included.
The Department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching and service as appropriate to the position.